What Questions will be Asked in a Divorce Case in Family Court?

If you are considering divorce, planning your case as much as possible can help you get the best outcome. There can be various legal issues that stem from divorce cases, so the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be. While some cases can be settled out of court and through mediation, others do end up in front of a judge.

One of the best ways you can be prepared for your divorce case if it goes to court is to be familiar with some of the questions that will be asked. This can help you think about your answers so that they are accurate and relevant. We’re going to explore some of these questions to help you better prepare before heading to court.

Questions You May Face in Family Court

While everyone’s divorce case will be different, there are several common questions people are asked in family court. These include:

How long were you married?

While this sounds like a simple question, some people forget the actual length of time they have been married. The length of time you have been married can help give the judge some background on your relationship.

The length of your marriage will also play a role in property division. Since California is a community property state, any property you and your spouse owned together at the time of your divorce is considered community property and can be divided. Property owned before the marriage began is not subject to division.

Have you completed the 6-month cooling-off period?

Under California law, couples must wait six months from the time one spouse files a divorce until the divorce can become legally finalized. The six months is to ensure that both parties have time to think about their decision to make sure they want to get divorced or take the time to try to work things out.
Have you tried to reach a resolution out of court?

Some couples try to reach a resolution through mediation or by another means before heading to court. The judge will often ask if attempts were made and why they were not successful. Sometimes, a judge may offer alternative dispute resolution services so that spouses can reach an agreement out of court. If no agreement can be reached, then heading to court is the only option.

Do you and your spouse have any children together?

When there are children involved, issues like child support and visitation come into play. The judge will always consider the best interest of the child in these cases. Above all, the judge will instill in both parents that they have a legal responsibility to provide for the children until they reach adulthood.

Are you familiar with the state child support guidelines?

If there are children involved, it’s important for both parents to be aware of the state’s child support guidelines. This can better help them understand how much they may have to pay and what they may receive. Having an idea of what lies ahead before the divorce is finalized can help both parties better prepare financially.

Have you completed and submitted a complete and accurate financial disclosure statement?
Since property division and assets are a big part of a divorce case, a judge will want to have all accurate information regarding finances. Lying or not disclosing all important information is only going to delay the proceedings and hurt your case.

Are you asking to restore your birth name?

Some women prefer to revert to their birth name after divorce. If that is your intention then be prepared to tell the judge in court.
The Bottom Line

While there may be other questions that a judge may ask in family court, these are good questions to start to think about before heading to court. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can also help you prepare for court. They will make sure you are aware of the typical questions asked so that you can have your answers ready for the judge. Having an idea of what you may be asked can help to move along the process to get your divorce finalized as quickly as possible.

If you are not sure how to answer these questions, please reach-out to me at LawOfficesofWilliamStrachan.com and I would be happy to walk you through the process.